Thanks to Ray Lo for this report
Hartington Training Ground
Tuesday 13th December 2011, 1pm
QPR v SPURS
(Blue/White) (All Black)
Joe Lewis 1 David Button
Michael Harriman 2 Jack Barthram
Fitz Hall 3 Cristian Ceballos
Danny Shittu 4 Milos Veljkovic
Mo Shariff 5 Bongani Khumalo
Kieron Dyer 6 Jake Nicholson
DJ Campbell 7 John Bostock
Jason Puncheon 8 Ryan Mason
Janik 9 Cameron Lancaster
Arkos Buzsaky 10 Simon Dawkins
Matthew Connolly 11 Soulymane Coulibaly
Bruno Perone 12 Kudos Oyenuga
Marcel Henry-Francis 13 Jonathan Miles
Jamie White 14 Ramil Sheriff
Frankie Sutherland 15
Freddie Champion 16
Janik 13 Dawkins 9
Buzsaky 60(pen) Mason 43, 45
R. Jepson T. Sherwood
Ref:- Mr. Singh
It was a chilly windy afternoon with the sun shining low over the south end. Rangers were giving a run out for some of their first team squad members with players returning from injury. Their squad was completed by a trialist. It was not easy to follow their team and substitutes as some players had squad numbers and others did not, so if there are any mistakes I apologise now.
It looked like Harry's use of 3-5-2 at Stoke was so effective that Tim Sherwood set up his side that way as well. Button returned to start in goal with a back three of Nicholson, Veljkovic and Khumalo. Barthram was the right wingback and Ceballos the left one. Mason, Bostock and Dawkins played in the centre of the midfield to provide for Lancaster and Coulibaly up front.
Spurs defended the south end in the first half and the new formation looked to be working. Coulibaly caught Dyer early on which resulted in the injury-prone Dyer to walk off the pitch straight away without the physio even reaching him.
Mason was soon pulling the strings in midfield and his through ball sent Dawkins away to slot the ball past Lewis for the opening goal. Coulibaly was played in but fired wide. Rangers were soon level when a low cross from the right was pushed out by Button but only to two Rangers players on the far post. Janik was the one to put it into the net.
The home side pushed on with Campbell firing wide and Buzsaky put a free kick over the bar. Mason played in Lancaster whose effort was saved. Ceballos came in from the wing to fire over. Shariff turned a corner wide of the far post before Coulibaly was found by Mason but shot wide. Bostock drew a save from Lewis who also saved a Ceballos free kick. Spurs went back in front when Barthram got down the right and crossed low into the box. Lancaster's effort was blocked but Mason followed him in to put the ball into the net. Mason got another goal minutes later when Coulibaly played him in.
Spurs changed to 4-4-2 for the second half with Ceballos moving into midfield proper which he had been doing during during the first half anyway. Mason drew a save in the opening minute before Rangers won a free kick on the left. Buzsaky took it and hit the far post and when it was put back into the middle, Henry-Francis headed over. Ceballos dribbled into the area to the near post before firing over when colleagues called for a cutback.
Sutherland saw his effort turned over the bar and Janik headed over from the corner. Mason fired over from a ball by Ceballos and Coulibaly drew a save from the keeper. Button saved a free kick by Buzsaky before Nicholson conceded a penalty by obstructing Henry-Francis on the left side of the area. Buzsaky fired the penalty to Button's right to reduce the arrears.
Bostock won a corner which he took and swapped passes with Ceballos before crossing for Coulibaly to fire wide. Ceballos drove a low shot onto the far post and when it was turned back into the middle, Lancaster was on hand to fire home.
With the two goal margin restored, Sherwood made two changes replacing Coulibaly with Oyenuga and Sheriff taking over from Barthram. Oyenuga got round the back on the right and put in a shot that was cleared off the line. Lancaster fired wide for a corner and Oyenuga also drove over. Ceballos played in Lancaster, whose effort was saved for another corner. Ceballos collected the corner and cut inside and finished low to the keeper's right for Spurs fifth.
Nicholson gave the ball away to Henry-Francis who drove into the area but was foiled by Button. The visitors went further ahead when Oyenuga drove into the area through the left channel to fire across Lewis into the net. Miles came on for Ceballos in a blank shirt to play on the right.
Rangers had a chance to get a goal back when Sheriff brought down Henry-Francis in the area for a second penalty. Francis took the kick himself but fluffed it and it rolled to Button before the taker could recover.
Miles (Ed:- a goalkeeper, remember!)got the ball on the right and came inside before seeing his effort saved. There was just time for Buzsaky to put his effort over the bar before the ref blew for time.
It was a good workout for the reserves against some experienced players and they showed quick passing and good movement. I wonder if Inglethorpe will use a 3-5-2 formation on Saturday in the Academy match. The switch back to 4-4-2 allowed Ceballos to roam without leaving the right side weakened and he took full advantage of the freedom. Coulibaly looks desperate for a goal and snatched at the ball a couple of times when well placed. Mason looks like his old self with his vision and late runs into the area. Sherwood has worked with so many different players and has still managed to form them into working teams when they come together for these one-off matches. I had to look twice before I realised that the last sub to come on was our keeper Miles, who had a chance to score as well.
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